The Family Zone

Lectionary-Based Playlist /Issue 52/March 28, 2021

"At the name of Jesus, every knee should bend"

It's Palm Sunday and the observance of Holy Week is here! We hope you can take some time this week to observe this most important week in our Catholic faith. There are so many symbols, signs, and rituals to embrace as we observe the holiest of days and grow in deeper in our understanding of the Paschal Mystery.

Today is also the one year anniversary of The Family Zone newsletter. We are happy to have been able to share this unusual year with you and help to support your family; your domestic church, as it navigates faith at home and a new exploration of what it means to fully embrace our discipleship as Catholic Christians in an ever-changing world. May you and your family enjoy many blessings this week!

Need a Holy Week Primer? Here is a great infographic from our friends in the Diocese of Lafayette; just click on it:

Journeying with St. Joseph

Learn more about St. Joseph during this YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH!

According to our tradition, St. Joseph died before Jesus’ public ministry. That means, unlike Mary who stayed with Jesus through the crucifixion, Joseph was not in the story. We will never know when or how Joseph died, but his love and care for Jesus while alive is hinted clear in the Gospels. This love and care means that Joseph's influence outlived him!



Click on the link below for the readings that you heard at this Sunday's Mass. This gives you a chance to revisit the message and even spend some time with the practice of Lectio Divina!

Family Stories:

Do you love to read to your kids? These stories will help you apply this week's theme to other areas of life and connect the lines between our beliefs and daily life!

  • Holy Week: an Emotions Primer by Danielle Hitchen (early elementary)
  • God Gave Us Easter by Lisa Tawn Bergren
  • Easter Eggs for Anya: A Ukrainian Celebration of New Life in Christ, by Virginia Kroll

Parent Articles on the topic:

For Teens to Grow on their Discipleship Journey:


Below you will find "at-home" assignments if your child learns best through writing and completing worksheets:

FOR SMALL CHILDREN: Cut out an outline of a palm with your child about all the ways that God is great! Invite your child to share his or her thoughts on what makes God great and write it on the palm. Encourage him or her to draw a picture of it on the palm frond!

FOR ELEMENTARY AGES: Make a timeline of Holy week events. After sharing the highlights of the events leading from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, work with your child to map it out on a written timeline so that it becomes clearer.

FOR ADOLESCENTS: Invite your teen to place themselves within the scriptural story of Holy Week. Have them write a journal entry from the perspective of Peter, Judas, Mary, Pontius Pilate, Simon or one of the other key figures.

ALL AGES: Lay your prayers at the cross. Set up a cross in a prominent place for the week with a stack of paper and pens. Invite all family members to write their prayers and lay them at the foot of the cross as the week progresses.


Do you listen to podcasts throughout the week? We will share episodes to help you embrace week's theme and be able to converse with your kids feeling more confident! We'll also share family listening skills from time to time!


Here we share ideas for personal prayer, family prayer and learning more about the ACT of prayer as a discipleship skill!

Parishes around our diocese collaborated on this Stations of the Cross for the Pandemic. Join with families across our diocese in praying for healing this week as we unite the suffering of this past year to Jesus' suffering on the cross; just click on the pdf below


Are you or your child a VISUAL learner? We've curated some videos that help you understand this week's theme!
Holy Week in Three Minutes
Holy Week and Easter explained with LEGO
Understanding Holy Week


Children learn through play; here are some ways for you to keep learning about the faith theme of the week in a "hands-on" way!


Have a Palm Sunday parade with your children. Pretend to see Jesus going by and use real or paper palms to wave and shout Hosanna!


Having an egg hunt? Use the opportunity to add in some eggs with items that represent the Easter Story. After the fun of finding eggs, gather the story eggs up to place the focus on the real meaning of Easter and have a meaningful conversation with your kids!


Cut out the scriptural events of Holy Week on individual pieces of paper. Can you and your teen put the events in the correct order? Use the pdf linked below this box, to make two copies to cut into slips. Set a timer and put in order. The answers are provided on the second page.

ALL AGES: Color Easter Eggs and talk about the symbols of New Life. What experiences of New Life are your family hoping for? Talk about it as you color eggs!


Great projects for you to create something together for quality time!

FOR SMALL CHILDREN: Create this Good Friday peanut butter cracker snack together to help your child observe the day in a less scary way than discussing the cross

FOR ELEMENTARY AGES: Make a Holy Week in a box to help your family focus on the week:

FOR ADOLESCENTS: Help your child to grow in their imaginative understanding of Holy week by creating a simple Seder supper together on Holy Thursday, to prayerfully enjoy:

ALL AGES: Make Resurrection Rolls together on Holy Saturday:

Wonder with St. Joseph

It's the Year of St. Joseph! We are shifting our wondering questions to look through the eyes of the Holy Family this year!

The joy you celebrate at the start of Mass on Palm Sunday was such a moment of pride for me. I remember looking down on Jesus coming into Jerusalem and wishing I were still on earth with him! The honor and respect the crowds had was awe inspiring. …. And then they all changed. The pain of standing by and watching this man I had helped raise being treated so cruelly! I knew it was part of God’s plan, but it broke my heart. How could anyone be so mean?

Parents – What a gift to share the ups and downs of your children’s lives. And what a gift to watch them live their own lives. It may not always be easy, but it is a gift! Be sure to share with them what a gift it is. As you journey through Holy Week, place yourself in the footsteps of Mary. What must she have felt as a parent in that moment?

Young People – People will change in your life. It is difficult, sometimes, but remember that no matter how the crowd changed, Jesus loved them. All we have to do is to remember to love them! Imagine yourself in the crowd; what do you think they were feeling? How do you think you would have reacted?



PASCHAL MYSTERY: God’s plan of salvation which was ultimately fulfilled through four events in Christ’s life: His Passion (his suffering and crucifixion), death, Resurrection, and Ascension.


This week, we celebrate one year of serving your family with THE FAMILY ZONE! We work each month to improve the way in which we can meet your family's needs. Beginning NEXT WEEKEND, Easter Sunday, our editions of The Family Zone will look toward the Sunday ahead instead of focusing on the Sunday on which you receive the newsletter. This will allow your family to prepare your thoughts around the messages of the Sunday liturgy BEFORE you hear them in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We hope this will help you to connect to Mass on a deeper level and will allow our faith formation leaders in the parishes to better connect this newsletter to the lessons they share with you! We're excited for these changes and to keep sharing our faith with you and your family!

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

Missed the previous editions of our newsletter?